Dozens of Owensboro bars, restaurants apply for city’s payroll fund


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – The deadline for Owensboro restaurants and bars to get help from a city fund is approaching.

They have until tomorrow to apply for a part of the supplemental payroll program that started nearly two weeks ago.

“We’d love to help our employees as much as we can,” says Keith Cook, manager at Old Hickory Bar-B-Q. They applied for help for their fifty workers that have served and cooked through recent tough times for the dining industry.

“We’ve been able to adapt, so everybody’s been able to pitch in, still work, still get their hours in, maybe not as many as what they’re used to. But, the good thing is we are a local company, we are a local business, and the people of Owensboro stand behind us tenfold,” he says.

City Manager Nate Pagan says as of Thursday afternoon, 62 bars and restaurants applied for a share of the $750,000 fund made available earlier this month. 57 of those applications were accepted.
“The response has been pretty good. Like any industry, I think restaurants and bars have been impacted with varying degrees,” says Pagan.

The share each of these businesses will get will depend on the number of workers they have. Pagan says the city hopes to get money out to those approved as soon as possible, and checks start getting sent as soon as the end of next week.

“We try to make it as simple and easy as possible, so really the intent is to distribute some extra compensation to those in the industry. It’s easy to qualify as long as you’re working for a restaurant or a bar,” he says.

“The more we can do for them, the better off we are as a business,” adds Cook.

As for the total amount made available for the fund, Pagan says the $750,000 dollars is set, but city commissioners could look at increasing that total if there’s a late surge of applicants.

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(This story was originally published on January 14, 2021)

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